Polar-HPC Hackathon 2016

Highlights of the NSF sponsored hackathon designed to get the HPC and Polar Science community collaborating!


  1. The Polar Research Coordination Network aims to connect the Polar Science, Data and High-Performance and Distributed Computing (HPDC) communities to enable deeper penetration of computing methods and cyberinfrastructure into the polar sciences. You can read more about our other activities on our website here.
  2. Co-located with XSEDE16, 10 Polar Scientists and 11 Programmers gathered to work on Polar Science challenges utilising HPC resources. There were 4 specific science project goals, but the larger RCN goal is to equip members of the polar Science community with the tools required to utilise HPC resources.
  3. But things kicked off way before this with a call to the community for Polar Science proposals that could use HPC. With 7 proposals submitted, 3 revealed a real need in the community for open source, scalable image processing tools that could accurately classify sea ice features in satellite imagery.

    So 3 teams joined up to work on exactly that as as Project1: SeaIce

  4. Project2: 3DSeals - Automating the monitoring of Weddell seals using computer vision and their unique pigment patterns got an early start at the beach!

  5. Project3: Parallel OBLIMAP got the earliest start in May - working to parallelise the scanning phase to enable rapid coupling of ice models with General Circulation Models (GCM) using adaptive grids #ClassicHPC #ParallelFortran
  6. Project4: DeltaAerosols last but not least, got working on how to turn 11TB of past satellite data into visualisable time series quantifying aerosol presence and composition over Earth's ice sheets and glaciers - mapping anthropogenic and natural aerosol patterns and estimating changes over time.
  7. Day1:

  8. So the day before XSEDE officially opened, we broke the ice with badly drawn penguins and an origami bunny icebreaker.
  9. And quickly moved in to hacking mode!
  10. Tutorial day

  11. Taking advantage of our co-location with XSEDE, programmers, scientists, and organisers alike took advantage of the wide array of tutorials on offer.
  12. But we still snuck in an extra evening hack session to keep up the momentum, pizza helped!
  13. Day2